Thoughts of Suicide

by  , Youth Reporter from South Shore School of Leadership

Editor’s Note: The following article was written by a youth reporter who is a graduate of the Urban Youth International Journalism Program.

Imagine coming home from school and turning on the television to see a classmate you said good morning to has committed suicide.

Something like this can happen.

Many students find themselves in this situation everyday. According to SAVE, a suicide prevention organization, for youth between the ages of 15 and 24, suicide is the third leading cause of death in America.

Each year in the School of Leadership alone, which has about 300 students, there are at least four cases where a student discusses suicide options with Ms. DuShawn Brown, a counselor at the school.
So why is this happening?

Ms. Brown said suicide happens when a student feels helpless and hopeless. It’s a feeling where they think, “What’s the use of being alive?”
“It’s a chemical imbalance,” Ms. Brown said. “One might accidentally put a damage their car and be sort of disappointed, but when a suicidal person accidentally damages their car that could be the last straw.”
Depression is a major factor in suicide victims. Some students get depressed over family issues, school, financial crises and many more issues in life. According to the World Health Organization, the No. 1 disability in the world is depression.
Ms. Brown screens the students who come to her and discuss suicide to help her identify if the student is in immediate danger and needs to seek immediate help.
Warning signs and symptoms of a suicidal person are thinking, talking or wishing about suicide. Other red flags are excessive anger, substance abuse, withdrawal from family and friends, mood disturbance and high-risk behavior.

Just because a person says they will commit suicide does not mean that they will. On the other hand, don’t think a person is joking when a person claims they will commit suicide.
“More women attempt suicide, but more men succeed,” Ms. Brown said.
If you suspect that a suicide may take place, the best thing to do is talk to the person in danger.

According to SAVE’s website, question to ask are, “Do you ever feel bad that you think about suicide? Do you plan to commit suicide?” and “Have you thought about when you would do it?”

Suicidal thoughts are common with depressive illnesses, and your willingness to converse with the person is good because it might help them to seek professional help.
Never keep suicide a secret.

If you feel that a relationship with the person will end if you tell a physician or school counselor, imagine losing that person to suicide.

In an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK.

Categories: Homepage UYIJP